Matt Answers Viewer Questions
General response to fan e-mail
Thank you very much for writing to us. Amy, the kids and I really appreciate you watching the show and are glad you're enjoying it. It's been a fun journey for us.
You wouldn't believe how much e-mail we receive, but we try to read as much as possible. Good wishes, suggestions and thoughts from folks like you touch our hearts. It's a wonderful feeling to know that people across the country are learning something about little people and realizing that my family is just like about any other family.
We wish you all the best. Take care.
Q: Hello! I love your show...I've watched it from the very beginning. I consider myself very aware of people's feelings, so that's why I'm asking this question: If I see a LP needs assistance (reaching an item in the grocery store) do I say nothing (and do nothing and assume they will ask for help) or ask if he/she needs assistance? Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. There is a couple that lives in my town that are LP and this scenario has come up before.
- From user callismom
A: Dear Callismom,
We all react differently to offers for assistance. This is certainly true for little people too. Some may really appreciate your offer for help, while others might take offense. Generally, little people who could use a hand look around to catch someone's eye. Then they'll ask for help. Like many of us, little people can be shy or embarrassed to ask a stranger for assistance whether it be at a grocery store or anywhere else. My recommendation is that you offer assistance in the same spirit that you would with anyone. You don't need to make a big deal out of it. And don't be offended if a little person rebuffs your offer - definitely don't feel discouraged about being considerate to others. Of course, if someone's in trouble it's always important to help. It's nice to know that you care!
For Matt and Amy:
Q: We're wondering how you manage to keep your family so close-knit with such busy schedules?
- From Sketchy and Spunk
A: Managing busy lives is a test for any couple. With work, school, activities, friends, those frequent surprises and, of course, the TV show, it's been especially challenging. The key for us has been to hold true to our priorities. At the top of the list is making time for each other and our great kids. It's so important to keep the communication lines open, especially as kids get older and more independent. A simple open-ended question for kids or your spouse like "Tell me about your day" can help. It's also so important to be interested in knowing what's going on in each other's life and participating in each other's life. Our family comes first, so other things just fall into place.
Q: Hi, Matt and Amy. First off, I would like to tell you that my husband and I and our kids ages 12,9, and 7 love your show. My question is, have any of your children expressed their feelings about possibly having a little person when they have their own children?
- From user tpsumral
A: I'd say that Zach is the only one of our kids who has mentioned possibly having a child who is a little person. He thinks it would be "kind of cool." Our other kids never have said anything along these lines, likely because they are average size. They know that the odds, due to genetics, are pretty slim. I think if Zach or any of our kids do have a family that includes a little person, they would appreciate the uniqueness of the child and certainly understand the road ahead for them.
Q: Do you have any plans to expand the farm with new attractions, areas, etc.
- From user imjusunwritten:
A: Oh, you can bet that I've got plans. Amy sometimes says that I have way too many plans for the farm. She's probably right. However, our schedules are so busy these days that most of the more "creative" ideas have to wait. If we had the resources to do some big things here, it would be pretty exciting. Maybe we'll even look for sponsors at some point to help us move some ideas forward.
The important business related plans are the priority. We are upgrading some facilities connected to the pumpkin patch and peach field to serve customers better. Other changes around the farm no doubt will be covered in the show. For example, we hope to finish the castle, build a frontier fort and construct a mountain range type area for the Christmas tree farm. As my kids often say, "You never know what's going to happen at the Roloff Farm." Surprises are good, aren't they?
Q: Have you thought of starting a soccer camp specifically for little people?
- From user crlchs:
A: There have been times when it has seemed like we were managing soccer camps around here, just with the team practices and games with our kids and their friends. A soccer camp is a great idea. The Dwarf Athletic Association of America offers regional and national competitions for all ages, but I don't think they offer camps. This might be a nice idea for the Little People of America to consider. Maybe a college would step up to host it and some sponsors could help defray the costs for families that could not afford the fees and travel. I'll pass the idea along to some contacts.
Q: I love your show. My family and I watch your show every weekend. My question is: You are such a great father. Tell me, what is the secret to doing such a great job in raising your kids?
- From user jjkingston:
A: Thank you for the compliment. There have been plenty of times when my kids would enthusiastically disagree with you. To be honest, I have no secret. I do have a fantastic wife in Amy and that is a huge advantage for our kids. We just do the best I can do. We're lucky that our kids have good heads on their shoulders and kind hearts. As with any parents, the keys in raising good kids seem to be communication, honesty, involvement, support and lots of love. I guess this sounds pretty cliche but it really is true.
Q: Are the kids, especially Jacob and Molly, as shy and quiet as they appear on TV?
- From several users
A: Jacob and Molly might seem pretty reserved on the show, but they have delightful personalities that shine more often than not. I think all of our kids are different and are outgoing or shy depending on the circumstances. That's really true for all kids, I think. Do they have their not-so-quiet moments? Sure. We've all got our buttons that can be pushed. Being on a TV show where the cameras are following you around all the time does affect your behavior. It's tough not to feel self-conscious and sometimes a bit on edge. Adults have maturity on their side, but kids act like...kids.
Q: Are the normal family jealousies and competitiveness magnified when there are both average size family members and little people in the same household?
- From several users
A: I don't know if anything is really magnified within a family like ours. Whenever you have more than one child, there naturally will be occasions when jealousy or competitiveness arises. There certainly can be some unique issues and frustrations, but you adapt and get through it. I've been close to many families in my life and we're just a normal family. That might sound boring, but I think it's true.
Q: I have a friend that is a dwarf and is 6 months pregnant with her first child. I was wondering if the family used special baby furniture and if so, where might I find some for my friend?
- From user hrice1198
A: We didn't look all that much for special furniture when we had Zach. One thing we did do is buy a wooden crib, cut the legs down and added an extra mattress. This way Amy and I could reach into the crib more easily. I'd suggest that you sign up to be on the Yahoo list called "Parents of little people." It's probably the best network of parents around to ask question like yours. They know of about every resource available to little people and their collective experience is worth its weight in gold. Getting support from other families through a network like that can be a wonderful help to new parents.